Monday, February 16, 2009

News leak on ex-military chief angers Cambodian government

PHNOM PENH, Cambodia, Feb. 16 (Xinhua) -- The Council of Ministers have chastised the press for publishing information from a leaked government document that revealed it began probe into the real estate holdings of recently removed military chief Ke Kim Yan, national media said on Monday.

    The publishing of information contained in the official minutes of a meeting of the Council of Ministers held on Jan. 23, one day after Ke Kim Yan's ouster as Commander in Chief of Royal Cambodian Armed Forces (RCAF), amounted to "incitement and provocation of a bad political environment," English-Khmer language newspaper the Cambodia Daily quoted a statement of the council as saying.

    "The government is investigating to find the people who leaked its internal documents and will take strict measures against these individuals," the statement added.

    The minutes, which found their way into the hands of several media outlets late last week, revealed that Ke Kim Yan was removed in part because of his land dealings.

    According to the minutes, "the Council of Ministers has been informed and commented on the termination of the position of commander-in-chief from HE Ke Kim Yan based on two reasons:

    "First, reforming the RCAF rank and file by adhering to work effectiveness in the military rank and file.

    "Second, involvement with land issues by a top and powerful person in the military rank and file and doing business by using the name of military for personal gain."

    The minutes went on to describe a resolution by the Council of Ministers to have both military and government bodies investigate Ke Kim Yan's land dealings.

    Since his removal, ruling party and military officials have repeatedly claimed that his ouster was solely to promote reforms within the military.

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